The Times of India
24 November 2001
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
It’s a spiritual supermarket and the west is buying in heavily. Molshree vaid takes a walk on the esoteric side of town.
KOREGAON park reeks of spirituality. There’s even a California Healing Arts centre advertised here.
The lanes, the restaurants, even the eclectic mix of red-robed Osho sanyasins and long-haired foreigners, looking like something the hippie era left behind, all have that air of the ethereal about them. If there’s anything spiritual you’re looking for – meditation, massages, reiki, pranic healing, tai chi, tarot-card reading, rejuvenation and pyramid therapies, vipassana, Chinese therapy, acupuncture, Koregaon park has it all.
The Osho Ashram sits benignly in the midst of it all, the unspoken inspiration for all these healing centres, even today drawing thousands of soul-seekers from across the world.
A sanyasin, who refuses to give us her name, explains it metaphorically. “The commune is the big ocean attracting thirsty souls from all corners of the world. These spirituality centres are the surrounding ponds and lakes,” she says.
park. There are Zen restaurants and a cyber cafe called Buddha’s Paradise. The target audience is clearly the foreigners. In fact, the Indians living in Koregaon park seem totally juxtaposed against this spiritual backdrop, as they go about their normal life.
Says Ma Bipsa, owner of a reiki healing centre here, “We have a regular flow of Westerners and they are our main business.” Javed Keen of Australia came in search of spirituality to Koregaon park and he is not disappointed.
“There’s an intensity in the air and a supernatural feel about this place. The rejuvenating treatment available here has really helped me de-stress,” Keen says. Swami Amrit of Amrita Ayurvedic Centre says most of the people who frequent his centre come f r o m a b r o a d seeking ‘naturality’. “We synthesise massage techniques with spirituality. We try to heal with awareness,” Amrit says. There’s a spiritual angle to even the precious gems, crystals and stones, displayed in designer shops and by the peddler on the street. Healing powers and divine energy are supposed to be their USP.
Swami Teertha of Centre Point, shows us a Schorl – a black coloured stone that he says prevents and cures radiation. But it’s the Reiki crystals that Teertha says are most in demand.